Simply stunning – trio of grand designs scoop awards

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Simply stunning – trio of grand designs scoop awards

The best in new building design was celebrated this week at the fifth annual Rochdale Borough Design Awards.

During a ceremony at Rochdale Town Hall, Brownhill Learning Community, Heights Lane Site collected the ‘Rochdale Borough Design Award’. The school has been designed to inspire, motivate, raise aspirations and meet the educational needs of pupils. Judges were very impressed and said the innovative design made good use of indoor and outdoor space. Headteacher Kate Connolly said she was very pleased:

“We really do have a superb new building which is fit for purpose and is improving the quality of education for our young people. I’m surprised, but very proud to get this award!”

After a hotly contested online public vote, Rochdale Pioneers Museum won the ‘People’s Design Award’ after it pulled 208 votes and an overall 3.7 out of 5 star rating – the highest of all seven other nominations. Judges were impressed too and said the museum’s new curved form provided a considered addition to an iconic landmark. Jennifer Mabbott, Museum Manager said:

“This is fabulous news, especially as it was so close. We’re very happy to have won the public award and thank everyone who voted for us! We’ve had a brilliant first year with over 13,000 visitors … it’s nice to know people appreciate us. The improvements to the building have been really well received. This award will definitely be going on display in the museum!”

The Sustainable Design Award was won by ASDA Distribution Centre, Kingsway. The new building on a 43.5 acre site that contains a host of innovations, including solar panels, has produced 26% less carbon emissions, uses 28% less energy and 30% less water than would have been the case previously. Judges said the building was a showcase for good practice. Katie McGuire, Associate Partner from Tate Consulting collected the award on behalf of ASDA said she was delighted:

“We’ve been working with ASDA for a long time, and we’re both absolutely thrilled with this. It’s great to be recognised for sustainable design, which is really important to us.”

The awards were opened by Council Leader Colin Lambert and presented by the Mayor, Councillor Peter Rush alongside Steve McIntyre from architects Faulkner Browns, designers of the multiple award winning Number One Riverside in Rochdale town centre.

Council Leader Colin Lambert said it was great to see such a fantastic showcase:

“We have seen some brilliant buildings that have not only been well designed aesthetically and environmentally, but also with careful thought on how they could positively impact their local community. Good design is really important, and I thank everyone who has taken part – you have all delivered great projects. This year’s public vote was our closest yet, proving just how strong good new design is in this borough … and there is more to come.”

John Jones, Design Director of Countryside Properties, sponsor of the awards, said they were proud to support them:

“It has been inspiring to get the chance to see so many fantastic new buildings. These innovations in schools, heritage and housing have given me some ideas that we can develop at Countryside Properties. We are committed to ensuring good building designs for the future and know that it is important to recognise the effort, creativity and consideration that goes into creating our buildings. The selection has been outstanding. I would like to congratulate all the winners on their achievements and I hope they will go on to inspire buildings of this quality in the future.”

Loop Systems, itself a co-operative, worked on updating the Rochdale Pioneers Museum. Representative Neil Allen said the awards were testament to the design and construction teams:

“Working on a building of this historic significance was challenging, trying to retain the building’s heritage whilst incorporating more modern elements presented challenges but it is very gratifying to know our efforts have been successful.”

The annual awards, sponsored by new home developer Countryside Properties, focus on the relationship between good design of new developments and building successful communities. 


  • Building, property


  • rochdale
  • middleton
  • pennines
  • heywood
  • rochdale council
  • awards
  • design


  • Greater Manchester

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